Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Kate and I'm fully grown in height, so now I'm only growing in girth and gobbiness (I think I just made that word up). I was born in London and moved to Sydney three years ago. I am only just starting to settle down and properly explore this city. I still haven't driven myself over the Sydney Harbour Bridge as it scares me, plus I don't know how to get back, because generally driving is quite difficult with your eyes shut.
I did a fashion degree at St Martins which was an incredible experience and I had the privilege to be taught by and work with some amazing people. Without doubt some of the best tutors in the world. I wish I could go back and do it all again, and possibly listen a bit better.
I loved doing fashion illustration and design, and my illustration tutor showed me that it was possible to earn a pretty good living out of doing what I enjoyed. My college peers were and still are amazing, and some of the most famous names in the industry which often begs the question "what happened to you then?" but that's another long and tedious story which involves a thief, a coward and 25 waitresses. Really.
After I had my son I was taught to silk screen print by the talented Kate Gibb and worked for her for many years. I still freelance in menswear every now and then which I really enjoy as it's purely design, none of the tough stuff like manufacturing and sale, but I mainly work as an illustrator and silkscreen artist which I love.
I'm incredibly lucky to be self-employed in work that really challenges and stimulates me and which of course, I enjoy doing. I have a brilliant husband who is supportive of me, my decisions and is just an all round top bloke. It can't be underestimated - the power and influence of positive relationships around you.
When did you first decide to become an artist?
There was no decision made to start as both my parents are creative types and they come from a long line of creative types and much to their chagrin they begat a creative type. Secretly, I think my parents wish my sister and I had broken the mold and were accountants or brain surgeons. Which is laughable really, as if you knew me as the truly messy person that I am, as a brain surgeon, it could be quite a dangerous but possibly interesting combination. Possibly more Dr. Moreau than Mr. Fixit.
One of my favourite books though is Saturday about a brain surgeon and my home city of London. I'm rambling now.
So really, I was always geared up to doing it, as for generations on both sides of my family its been seen as a legitimate career choice. I am still surprised when I hear stories of my peers who have not had the support of their parents growing up and of being told to get a "proper" profession and that any form of art is a hobby.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
There are way too many to mention so I'll keep it completely nepotistic. The people whom I used to studio with...Zakee Shariff, Kate Gibb, Justin Hibbs, Toby Zeigler, Dinah Dufton, Tommy Penton, Lisa Jones...and now my friends form my illustration agency...Marcela Restrepo, Matt Huynh, Kat Macleod, We Buy Your Kids.
...and of course there's my son...Moofus. I have to say that, he'll be choosing my nursing home.
What are your top five favourite movies at the moment?
I'd find it hard to choose my top five so I'll tell you the last ten movies I've watched instead. Please don't judge me harshly: Footloose, Dr. Strangelove, Sherlock Holmes, A Room for Romeo Brass, There will Be Blood, Black Hawk Down, Wolverine, Zoolander, Burn after Reading and Holes.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
I really haven't got a clue. If you'd have told me ten years ago that I'd be living in Sydney there's no way I would have believed you. Also, in the last ten years two of my closest friends have died suddenly, so I try and live day to day and enjoy them the best I can even if it's super mundane stuff like washing the families knickers or cleaning up the dog's poo (I make it sound like we all share knickers, just to clarify, we all have separate underwear although there's a rumor going around that one of us is wearing the others).
Obviously that's easier said than done, so if I'm still lucky enough to be knocking around in a decade, I won't be doing any of our washing because everything will be self cleaning.
I'll also have honed my amazing teleportation powers to be able to transport me between London and Sydney on a whim - although it does tend to give me a mild headache.
Thank you so much again Kate! ...and now for the FABULOUS COMPETITION!
How to enter? 1) Go to Kate's etsy shop Alyoisus Silkscreened prints
and choose your favourite design and
2) come back here and tell me which is your favourite!
This is the ravishing silkscreen print 38 Mate that will be yours if you win the competition! Entries close in one week's time on 16th February 2010!
Wow wee! Good luck everyone!